But this is the most unsatisfying answer. It’s worse than unsatisfying; it doesn’t allow for any expansion or investigation. It opens up new avenues for research, but only for those interested in the history of juggling and the current subculture.
The stated goal of this discussion, and the definition that might come from it, is to help juggling have a firm base to allow for rigorous debate in the future, allowing for more serious research and all that. I don’t need to explain, it’s all your plan.
Tying everything back to “culture is enough” means that nothing will come out of this except tracking things that are in or arrive in the juggling culture.
You can deal with anything by saying “many connections that arrive back at the three ball cascade” but already this is closing down debate. What is the use of your definition if it doesn’t even allow me to delve deeper and look at WHY the three ball cascade is the default form.
I agree it IS the default form, but if cultural aspects are NOT the link between an activity and the three ball cascade, what IS the link? What is it, what is the thing, that makes the three ball cascade the thing that everyone can agree is juggling? It CAN’T be cultural, because the three ball cascade can’t be linked to its own self by culture. It is the thing that it is.
Right. This is the entire point of this exploration. There are many things that people, including jugglers, call juggling that don’t include “repeated connected throws and catches”. The question is: is there anything that DOES contain “repeated connected throws and catches” that ISN’T referred to as juggling, either by jugglers, or by people who don’t know what it is called, and look for a name to call it?
Which brings me to the thing about your definition that I find lacking. It PERFECTLY ties in all the things that do have “repeated connected throws and catches” into the definition, as three ball juggling is the perfect expression of “repeated connected throws and catches”, so anything that also contains that will, in some way, be a lesser or more redundant expression of the default form.
But what about juggling skills where someone manipulates one or more objects with sticks held in their hands?
Here is my example:
As with pizza tossing, there is no cultural connection between this and juggling. And yet there is no repeated throwing and catching, like there was with pizza tossing and bar flair. There is a way stronger connection to magic performances here, as it is full of trickery and misdirection… and yet the thing someone thinks this is called is “juggling”. Why?
“Repeated connected throws and catches”, of which the three ball cascade is the appropriate default form, is good enough to encompass maybe one third of juggling.
The other two thirds are, as I see it:
- “using the body instead of the hands to continuously control an object or objects so as not to let them fall” which can encompass body rolling, balancing, ring placements, and things like that.
- “controlling an object or objects via a stick held in the hand” which can encompass devilstick, diabolo, plate spinning, hat spinning, etc.
I think all the things people talk about when they use the word “juggling” can be linked to these three areas of object manipulation without having to resort to cultural connections, but purely by the physical properties explained with these short descriptions.
This is NOT to say:
- everything that happens to share one of these properties is called juggling by the people who practice it, nor by experts referring to the activity. Other names for these activities exist.
- everything that jugglers would accept as juggling due to cultural links (like being performed in a juggling show at a juggling convention) can be described by one of these three.
By restricting the definition to the the default form of only the three ball cascade, you are missing out on so much! The only way to ever get back to the default form, for any activity that doesn’t have “repeated connected throws and catches”, is via culture and accidental historical links. By allowing a few other default forms, the unsatisfying “jugglers do this thing, and jugglers also juggle three balls” doesn’t have be the final step in all the most interesting questions.